Over dinner the other night, Antonio and I had a discussion regarding this concept of "A Sense of Place" (see my post from August 14, 2007.) I realized that there are so many places that I am drawn to, and so many places in which I could easily live, like Spain, Big Sur, Taos, Provence, Mendocino, etc. However, there is a subtle difference between a place in which I could live and a place that feels like home. It is more than a place that feels comfortable and more than a place that makes you happy. For me it is a place that is familiar. Do you know that feeling of stumbling on a place that you feel like you already know (this can happen with people, too)? Oddly enough, for me one of those places is Tibet, as I mentioned in my last email, which feels so familiar and like home. However, I could not live in Tibet for an extended period of time. I suppose that is how my sister feels about the arctic (again, see the last post about this.) My other "home" spots - Santa Cruz and Italy - are definitely livable for me. When I am in those places you practically have to drag me away kicking and screaming. So, is this sense of place that feels like home, as my sister said, "like slipping into your own skin"? Is it how you feel more yourself when you are in that place or does the place make you into someone you like more?
As Rebecca and African Vanielje commented in that other post, some feel that "home is where the heart is." During my conversation about this with my husband, we both said that we don't feel that way. My love lives with me in Southern California, but this place does not feel like home to either of us. Sognatrice alluded to this as well when she wrote that she left familial love to live in the place that felt like home, even though it was very far away. So, that theory is not universal.
I am left with more questions than answers and welcome all comments regarding this topic.